Category: Meanings of Baby Names
By Emily Cardoza
This past weekend I went to see Robert Eggers’ The Witch, an excellent (albeit scary and really unusual) film about a Puritan family dealing with the supernatural. The references to the Devil got me thinking – are there any devilish names in use out there? Here are the ones I found. The names have been ordered by popularit, greatest to least (the numbers in parentheses show how many babies were given the name).
The popularity of cheerful Lily has given this name a boost, but the original Lilith was Adam‘s first wife in Jewish folklore. She refused to be subservient to him and left him, turning into a demon (I’m personally on her side in this debate). The connotation is preserved mostly in the Jewish tradition, but it’s interesting to see such an innocent-looking name with such a diabolic origin story.
By Linda Rosenkrantz
St. Valentine’s day always brings to mind romantic baby name possibilities, but more often than not they’re of the female persuasion, usually lacy, multi-syllabic Victorian pretties like Arabella and Melissande. But hey–there are plenty of romantic names on the boys’s side as well, whether through sound, meaning, amatory reputation or literary connections. Here are some of the best.
A bit obvious, perhaps, but what could be more apropos than this pair? In addition to the holiday connection, Valentine is the name of a devoted friend in Shakespeare’s Two Gentlemen of Verona and is also a major character in Twelfth Night. Valentino, long associated with silent screen Latin lover heartthrob Rudolph Valentino, was chosen by Ricky Martin for one of his twin boys.
By Linda Rosenkrantz
It’s the beginning of the Chinese Year of the Monkey, the ninth zodiac sign, coming between the sheep and the rooster.
In the past, we’ve celebrated the strength of Leo and the other leonine names, as well as Bear and Wolf and Fox. But what about our fellow primates, which the Chinese characterize as smart, curious and cute? Here are some possible namesakes, both fictional and real—though it’s just conceivable that you might want to keep their simian inspiration your secret.
The blizzard that blanketed much of the US mid-Atlantic area in snow last weekend caused shuttered schools and businesses, buried cars and other massive disruptions for 80 million people. But with all that chaos, TV screens and the Internet were filled with picturesque wintry scenes and skiers gliding down Fifth Avenue. Snow still has a magical quality for the child in all of us, one that is celebrated in baby names across countless cultures. (by Linda Rosenkrantz)
By Tiana Putric
Inspired by the new-found popularity of Aria, which entered the popularity list in 2000 and now has risen to Number 31 (thanks to a presence on the TV show Pretty Little Liars), and other names like Melody and Lyric in the Top 300, I thought I would suggest some other musical possibilities, along with their meanings. None of the following have ever registered on the U.S. Top 1000; in fact they may be entirely new appellations or extremely rare ones.